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Bourjos frustrated with slow start to season

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PITTSBURGH -- Manager Mike Matheny insisted that the decision to switch out center fielders Sunday had more to do with wanting to get Jon Jay a start than it did feeling the need to sit Peter Bourjos. Nevertheless, the day off offers Bourjos the opportunity to reset following a frustrating start to his Cardinals career.

Bourjos, who started four of the Cardinals' first five games, is still seeking his first hit. He has made some hard contact and would have had a bunt single Friday if not for a terrific defensive play by Pirates catcher Russell Martin. To this point, nothing has fallen in.

"It would be nice to have one of those where I found a hole and get the first one out of the way, and obviously it hasn't gone that way," Bourjos said. "But in the grand scheme of things, it's been four games and 13 at-bats, and I'm not going to let those 13 at-bats define how the rest of the year is going to go."

Bourjos said he felt "really good" at the plate in Cincinnati after striking out in his first at-bat of the season. He was encouraged by the process Friday, too, against Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole. He drew a walk Saturday but was otherwise less-than-pleased with how his at-bats went in that St. Louis win.

"It's tough when you take a good swing and you don't feel like you get any results," Bourjos said. "But that's how it goes sometimes."

The Cardinals have not defined how they will split playing time between Jay and Bourjos, though it was expected that Bourjos' defensive range would put him in line to make the majority of starts in center. Defense alone, though, won't suffice, as the Cardinals are also looking for Bourjos to show he can hold his own offensively.

"New team or been around a long time, you want to get off to a good start," Matheny said. "He's hit some balls hard and hasn't had much luck. He had some good plays made against him. He's pressing. He's pushing hard right now. He'll get through it. He's a lot like a Matt Carpenter where he's probably more likely to overwork now more than anything else. We need him to trust himself, trust where he fits into this club and it will turn."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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